How to navigate through obstacles?

11 Dec 2017  ·  Eiben Eduard, Kanj Iyad ·

Given a set of obstacles and two points, is there a path between the two points that does not cross more than $k$ different obstacles? This is a fundamental problem that has undergone a tremendous amount of work... It is known to be NP-hard, even when the obstacles are very simple geometric shapes (e.g., unit-length line segments). The problem can be generalized into the following graph problem: Given a planar graph $G$ whose vertices are colored by color sets, two designated vertices $s, t \in V(G)$, and $k \in \mathbb{N}$, is there an $s$-$t$ path in $G$ that uses at most $k$ colors? If each obstacle is connected, the resulting graph satisfies the color-connectivity property, namely that each color induces a connected subgraph. We study the complexity and design algorithms for the above graph problem with an eye on its geometric applications. We prove that without the color-connectivity property, the problem is W[SAT]-hard parameterized by $k$. A corollary of this result is that, unless W[2] $=$ FPT, the problem cannot be approximated in FPT time to within a factor that is a function of $k$. By describing a generic plane embedding of the graph instances, we show that our hardness results translate to the geometric instances of the problem. We then focus on graphs satisfying the color-connectivity property. By exploiting the planarity of the graph and the connectivity of the colors, we develop topological results to "represent" the valid $s$-$t$ paths containing subsets of colors from any vertex $v$. We employ these results to design an FPT algorithm for the problem parameterized by both $k$ and the treewidth of the graph, and extend this result to obtain an FPT algorithm for the parameterization by both $k$ and the length of the path. The latter result directly implies previous FPT results for various obstacle shapes, such as unit disks and fat regions. read more

PDF Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now

Categories


Computational Geometry Computational Complexity Discrete Mathematics Data Structures and Algorithms

Datasets


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper